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2011-10-18 - Rider Down, London Bridge approach
 
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Old 18th October 2011   #1
Dammitdonor
 
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2011-10-18 - Rider Down, London Bridge approach

I'd been to Monmouth, and was walking up to the foot of London Bridge on the south side of the river.

Suddenly people started shouting "Stop! Stop!" and I could hear a rapid crunching/popping noise.

Turning round I saw an articulated lorry, driving toward the bridge.

On her back, knees bent and feet on the front bumper, was a lady who was being pushed along the ground by the lorry- her bike was just going under the front wheel which was the crunching/popping noise.

The driver was looking around him at all these people shouting "Stop! Stop!" and shrugging- his reaction was "they cannot be shouting at me", so he kept going.

It was probably all over in seconds, but it seemed to be a long time before he finally decided that the people (including myself) who were waving/pointing at him, the lady and shouting, did mean that he should stop.

The lady cyclist probably got pushed 2-4 metres, hard for me to judge and I'm wary of exagerating.

When he stopped lots of people rushed over and escorted the lady to the side of the road, she was fine, just shocked, she said that she thought she had made eye contact with the driver at the lights, but then he'd just driven straight into her/over her bike.

She then went to sit down on some steps as a PCSO ran over.

The truck driver was out of his cab by now, and circling his vehicle taking photographs.

Not once did he approach the cyclist, didn't speak to her at all- he must have taken from her ability to walk that she was ok.

Maybe he is under orders not to apologise for accidents lest it be taken as an admission of fault, but still- if the cyclist had not had the presence of mind (amazing, under the circumstances) to get her feet on the bumper the driver would have been standing there having killed her.

Some photographs:



No mirror above the windscreen to enable the driver to look down in front of him:







Registration of the vehicle is YJ57 YRA in case the cyclist is searching for information- I offered my contact details at the scene but she declined at the time.

(Middlebrook Transport Ltd articulated lorry)
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Old 18th October 2011   #2
wiganwill
That is frightening.
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Old 18th October 2011   #3
wvmdonor
 
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Shit, that was close!
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Old 18th October 2011   #4
edscobledonor
 
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My God, that was quick thinking on the lady, she managed to escape death.
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Old 18th October 2011   #5
Dammitdonor
 
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Yes, it looked like a stunt in a film- she had amazing presence of mind and reactions, without which things would be very different.

The driver had zero idea that she was there, and I mean zero, he apparently couldn't hear (or feel) his truck crushing her bike which is also rather unnerving.
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Old 18th October 2011   #6
catfood
shit! well done lady - and good on you neil for getting a bead on the situation. top work that man!
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Old 18th October 2011   #7
Rich Gdonor
 
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FUCK! glad she had the quick thinking to get out of the situation.
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Old 18th October 2011   #8
Greasy Slag
 
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amazing escape by a lucky lady.

How the driver can be so Meh about the whole thing is shocking, surely seeing people scream stop would cause you at least slow down and look about, but if in a mahoosive lorry you should really be a little bit more aware of the damage you call by such little movements
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Old 18th October 2011   #9
itsbrucedonor
 
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I've never seen such a clear and yet bloodless illustration of the dangers of those vehicles.
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Old 18th October 2011   #10
ojeffcottdonor
 
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jesus.....
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Old 18th October 2011   #11
Marco
you said it man..

shocking.. so glad the lady is ok.
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Old 18th October 2011   #12
andypdonor
 
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Fucking hell.

So glad the poor woman is okay. If that is not a nailed on conviction for driving without due care and attention then I don't know what is. Absolutely shockingly poor driving.
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Old 18th October 2011   #13
myfavouritegreek
 
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Close call for the lady, that must have been ridiculously scary for her.
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Old 18th October 2011   #14
harrong
 
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Incredibly lucky escape alive from that situation
Hope your assistance will help her Neil
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Old 18th October 2011   #15
mikecdonor
 
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omg that was close. Seeing the bike under the wheels like that brings it home how vulnerable and insignificant in size cycles are compared to these trucks.
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Old 18th October 2011   #16
Clever Pundonor
 
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I saw the aftermath of this after having been to monmoth and saw the crumpled bike but I couldn't see anything else, thank goodness she's ok. Must have been utterly petrifying.
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Old 18th October 2011   #17
Bobbo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasy Slag View Post
amazing escape by a lucky lady.

How the driver can be so Meh about the whole thing is shocking, surely seeing people scream stop would cause you at least slow down and look about, but if in a mahoosive lorry you should really be a little bit more aware of the damage you call by such little movements

People react to stressful situations in different ways, just because the driver is not running around screaming and crying about what nearly happened does not mean that he is not concerned for the cyclists' well-being. As Dammit said it is feasible that he has been instructed not to offer apologies in a situation like this in case it is taken as an admission of guilt, it is also possible that he is trying to keep himself to himself at the time because he is trying to 'pull himself together'. I don't know I wasn't there and I don't know the driver.

Hope that the lady is not too affected by this experience.

Same goes for you Dammit.
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Old 18th October 2011   #18
Multi Groovesdonor
 
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Right on my door step....I remember by 'issue' when I left my face print on that truck when the only thing the driver had to say to me was "who(m) is going to pay for the damage?"

She is lucky she is one of the switched on ones.
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Old 18th October 2011   #19
Multi Groovesdonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiswas View Post
I can't imagine how terrified the woman must have been. It's very good to know that she is ok though.

The fact that lorry drivers are unable to see in front of their noses is downright ridiculous.

FUCKING THIS

In 2011 we still have vehicles where is it totally possible for driver to be able to say SMIDSY?!?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Old 18th October 2011   #20
fatoldbloke
 
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Incredible presence of mind to climb out of that. what a total superwoman I hope she is fully OK.

and very +1^ and props to dammit for stepping in.
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Old 18th October 2011   #21
edscobledonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dammit View Post
The driver had zero idea that she was there, and I mean zero, he apparently couldn't hear (or feel) his truck crushing her bike which is also rather unnerving.
It's a HGV, remember the video of one pushing a car on the motorway because the driver didn't realised there's a car in front of his bonnet?
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Old 18th October 2011   #22
Dammitdonor
 
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I did nothing- shouted was all.

I cannot overstate how impressed I am by the lady cyclists actions, she saved herself from a horrifying potential outcome.
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Old 18th October 2011   #23
LongAndWindingdonor
 
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Jesus, this is shocking, scary and so lucky. I really hope that shock doesn't hit her too hard, and that appropriate action is concluded for the driver.

Dammit - have yourself a cup of sweet tea ...
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Old 18th October 2011   #24
fatoldbloke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dammit View Post
I did nothing- shouted was all.
that's enough, some folks just walk on, no matter what.
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Old 18th October 2011   #25
almac68donor
 
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wow dammit, excellent work recording it all though,
well done lady cyclist for super skillz
hope the authorities get plenty of eye-witness statements
and nails this idiot driver with a ban/heavy fine

if that delivery was for the shard building project,
then i fecking hate it even more now..
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Old 18th October 2011   #26
marmot
wow, that is scary, really hope the lady cyclist os ok and not too shook up
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Old 18th October 2011   #27
commie
 
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Well done to the lady for her incredible reactions..... reading this thread gives me a feeling of great relief tinged with that sickening gut wrenching that normally accompanies these incidents.

I hope she takes the day off and sits in the sunshine with family/friends.
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Old 18th October 2011   #28
cliveodonor
 
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Why did he need to drive that load through Central London at rush hour?

Thank goodness that the cyclist was uninjured although I would imagine that she will suffer from shock. Hopefully she will recover from this ordeal quickly and fully.
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Old 18th October 2011   #29
cliveodonor
 
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Middlebrook Transport Ltd
Meadow Lane Industrial Estate
Meadow Lane
Alfreton
Derbyshire
DE55 7EZ

Tel: +44 (0) 1773 836565
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Old 18th October 2011   #30
spindrift
It looks like a hefty piece of steel on the lorry for a major construction project. Maybe one of those construction sites that has the proud boast "Zero Accidents!"
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Old 18th October 2011   #31
econodog
holy fuck. amazing that she survived that unscathed. well done neil for the writeup
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Old 18th October 2011   #32
Corlis Benefideo
 
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Only busses and taxis are supposed to use that right hand turn lane, so I would assume the truck was delivering stuff for the London bridge station development, not the shard. They normally use st Thomas street.

Glad the woman is (seemingly) ok. Very quick thinking...
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Old 18th October 2011   #33
markbikeslondon
Jesus Christ, this is terrifying.

@Dammit You need to report your witness statement ASAP if you can. Although no one was hurt in this instance, thank god, next time another cyclist might not be so lucky dealing with a truck that doesn't have proper mirrors and a driver who clearly isn't looking.

Out of interest was there a driver's mate in the cab or was the driver alone?
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Old 18th October 2011   #34
kboydonor
 
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fuckin hell, that's a close call if ever. Excellent work on the lady saving her own life
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Old 18th October 2011   #35
kboydonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbo View Post
People react to stressful situations in different ways, just because the driver is not running around screaming and crying about what nearly happened does not mean that he is not concerned for the cyclists' well-being. As Dammit said it is feasible that he has been instructed not to offer apologies in a situation like this in case it is taken as an admission of guilt, it is also possible that he is trying to keep himself to himself at the time because he is trying to 'pull himself together'. I don't know I wasn't there and I don't know the driver.

Hope that the lady is not too affected by this experience.

Same goes for you Dammit.

good points, easy to forget that the driver is indeed human and of course very much affected by the event as well. I wouldn't want to drive again for a while if something like that happened to me
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Old 18th October 2011   #36
winter
Absolutely horrific! So glad the lady was able to react this way - no idea what I'd have done!
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Old 18th October 2011   #37
Japeseye
 
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Amazing escape. And utterly terrifying.
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Old 18th October 2011   #38
Eyko Sioux
Went past this morning and saw the bike under the lorry, hoped to the gods that the cyclist was safe! Glad to hear she wasn't run over :-/ (although I didn't notice any blood or sand on the floor so I guessed there was no dead person).
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Old 18th October 2011   #39
Wrongcogdonor
 
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Bloody hell! That's me getting RIGHT OUT in front of lorries from now on then! And the popo wonder why we're tempted to trundle through a light early to get a yard or two on the traffic behind us. I always try to turn and make eye contact when I arrive at the front of an HGV / Bus. And you assume the guy has seen you. His whole state of mind would have been 'well she wasn't there when i pulled up so...' How you can be a professional long vehicle driver, be using a main road in a metropolis at rush hour and not be absolutely tingling with anticipation of could be going on around you is beyond me.
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Old 18th October 2011   #40
fixer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbo View Post
People react to stressful situations in different ways, just because the driver is not running around screaming and crying about what nearly happened does not mean that he is not concerned for the cyclists' well-being. As Dammit said it is feasible that he has been instructed not to offer apologies in a situation like this in case it is taken as an admission of guilt, it is also possible that he is trying to keep himself to himself at the time because he is trying to 'pull himself together'. I don't know I wasn't there and I don't know the driver.

Hope that the lady is not too affected by this experience.

Same goes for you Dammit.
Some drivers must be sociopathic, given the way they drive. I watch the Shard concrete pouring thing, and these huge cement lorries were thundering up and down St Thomas Street one after another. They didn't even slow down as they entered the site; the entrance was only just wide enough for one of these things. Their attitude must be "it's not my fault if you get squashed if you get in my way".

Last edited by fixer; 18th October 2011 at 10:50. Reason: grammar
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Old 18th October 2011   #41
31tumdonor
 
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very lucky lady
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Old 18th October 2011   #42
Bobbo
 
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^^That sounds like you are taking the attitude exhibited by daily fail reading motorists i.e. "all cyclists are red light jumping idiots who cycle in the middle of the road and hold up traffic for fun" and applying it to lorry drivers. In a construction project such as the shard the guys driving the cement lorries will be under massive pressure to get in and out quickly so as not to disrupt the pour (this is not my field of expertise by any means, but I believe that concrete must be poured pretty much continuously or else structural weakness may occur) just because you do not understand why people behave in a certain way does not mean that they are sociopathic.

Remember these guys are reliant on their ability to drive to put food on the table for them and their family. Often the work that they carry out is highly time sensitive and they are therefore under pressure to meet or exceed deadlines. They are in charge of huge pieces of equipment that, through no fault of their own, are designed in such a way that it is nearly impossible to know what is going on immediately around them, that they have to negotiate through a road network that simply was not designed to handle them.

I'm not saying that there aren't HGV drivers out there who have no regard for the safety of others I am sure that there are many but I would imagine that they are a small minority.
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Old 18th October 2011   #43
Stonehedge
There is no place for vehicles that long on London streets during rush hour.
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Old 18th October 2011   #44
catfood
^^ none of that remotely justifies or explains what happened today or to the 13 other people killed on the roads since the beginning of this year. utter tosh.
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Old 18th October 2011   #45
Stonehedge
Am I completely wrong here or isn't that right hand turn where the lorry has finished in the photo marked "Buses Only"?
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Old 18th October 2011   #46
almac68donor
 
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all building sites should have a construction traffic management plan. how far they go to ensuring public safety and good working practise is normally the job of a planning supervisor and HSE auditing process with delivery, disposal, recycling not something i really know best to ask a site foreman, but suspect it includes:-

pedestrian route checklist
vehicle routes
vehicle movement
hiearchy of control measures for reversing vehicles
drivers safe work practices checklist
slinger/banksmen checklist..
etc etc..
the list is long and thorough..

this incident will be logged with the main contractor and Health and Safety Executive
and common practise in the industry

The procurement of materials to site in a safe manner by sub contractors and their transport agents, is I believe the responsibility of the main contractor. therefore if they had a zero accidents boast, it would have ended for that site..

http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/

HGV drivers work to tight deadlines, if the site has restricted access, the pressure is high to ensure that the sequence of those deliveries is quite precise.. no excuse for reckless driving though, he could lose his license and job, then again he might just get a warning and a fine..

lecture over..
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Old 18th October 2011   #47
Bobbo
 
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^^I don't know what happened this morning beyond what Dammit has described and neither do you, however as cyclists we frequently are victims of being stereotyped by motorists who only ever seem to notice the worst examples of cycling behaviour on the roads. I fail to understand why cyclists in turn should apply this logic to white van man or HGV drivers.

Stonehedge is right but the simple fact of the matter is this; the poor guys who struggle around in London traffic driving those things have no say whatsoever about when or where their drops are so why should they automatically get the blame for this type of accident. Unless they can be proved to be negligent blaming him or any of the other drivers of vehicles that have killed or maimed cyclists in London in this or any other year creates division among different groups of road users which helps to create animosity and mistrust when in reality if you want to change things for the better you have to engage with people who have the power to do so. I'm sure that someone like Oliver could point you in the right direction.
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Old 18th October 2011   #48
markbikeslondon
All this is useful stuff, and interesting too. Personally I believe the problems we have with lorries (particularly construction lorries) comes about as a result of a compound of problems;

Piece work paid for on a per delivery basis
Poor HSE enforcement for off-site element of construction sites
Poor cab design
Criminal element of casual drivers (see Thames Materials, or 100% 'fault' rate of trucks pulled over by the Met's vehicle inspection unit
Poor road design / lorry bans
Poor education / awareness of the cyclist issue

I don't think there's a one size fits all solution to all this, but considering how many people have died this year so far in London what should we be doing to try and change this situation? (I'm asking not because I'm not aware of what is already being done, but because I'm feeling a bit jaded by everything and hoping some fresh new ideas might come out of terrifying events like today's)
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Old 18th October 2011   #49
markbikeslondon
Forgot to add, another contributory factor (dare I say it out loud?) is poor awareness amongst some of our fellow cyclists about the dangers of going down the side of trucks (Not that it would make any difference in this morning's case it would seem)
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Old 18th October 2011   #50
Stonehedge
^ This and it would cheer me up no end if more people decided not to bother going anywhere near lorries when on a bike. Doesn't seem to be the issue in this near miss though.

Talk all you like about HGVs and the drivers, its all pointless if cyclists continue to put themselves in dangerous positions. You see it every single day.

EDIT: Just noticed I was too slow on this one
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